One thing we can say for certain is that the Cowboys coaching staff is going through a major renovation. With all the moves, rumors, projections and indecision, it’s been pretty hard to keep up. So let’s get updated on where things stand. For this, we will crib some from the fantastic Todd Archer over at ESPN, and some from the Coaching Tracker over at the Mothership.
So just how many coaches have the Cowboys either lost/kicked to the curb, depending on the individual situation?
The “gone for sure” category includes Wade Wilson (quarterback coach), Derek Dooley (wide receivers coach), Frank Pollack (offensive line coach), and Steve Loney (tight ends coach) on offense. Joe Baker (secondary coach) on defense. And Rich Bissacia as special teams coordinator.
The “gone but just not official yet” category includes linebacker coach Matt Eberflus.
The “we just don’t know” category has safeties coach Greg Jackson.
The “rumored gone but likely returning” category is filled by running backs coach Gary Brown.
The “newcomer” category is for Paul Alexander (offensive line coach) and Sanjay Lal (wide receivers coach).
So the Cowboys have for sure lost six guys, with Eberflus it is likely seven, but have only hired two.
Who is in the running to get some of these jobs?
It has already been reported that the Cowboys have discussed the quarterback coach position with Kellen Moore. I guess that could still come to fruition, but when things drag on like this without a decision, that generally isn’t favorable to the candidate that has been interviewed. The strong ties to Scott Linehan could trump all on this situation, though, even if it is taking some time. Cowboys fans wouldn’t be wrong to hope for someone with a little more experience.
The Cowboys are reportedly interviewing a couple of candidates for defensive positions.
One is John Pagano. He was the Oakland Raiders coordinator at the end of the year, he had taken over when Ken Norton, Jr. was fired. Pagano has a long history as a defensive coach in this league, including time as a defensive coordinator and coaching linebackers. If Matt Eberflus is indeed leaving, and every indication is that he is leaving, then Pagano would make sense to slide into his spot under Rod Marinelli.
Former Cowboy Ray Horton is another defensive candidate who will interview in Dallas, this likely for a role coaching in the secondary. As noted above, the Cowboys still haven't made any firm decision on safeties coach Greg Jackson, but they already confirmed Joe Baker will not return. Horton has a ton of experience coaching secondaries and as a defensive coordinator.
When you look at Horton, along with Pagano, you have to wonder - if the Cowboys hire them, are they preparing for the future? Rod Marinelli was rumored to be considering retirement this year, but decided to return. But what about next year or the next? If Horton and Pagano were on staff, the Cowboys would have a couple of in-house candidates for defensive coordinator if Marinelli finally retires.
Todd Archer also notes that special teams assistant Keith O’Quinn is under consideration to replace Rich Bisaccia.